MMA: Belingon aims for stoppage vs Fernandes in rubber match

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 28 2019 04:11 PM

Expect Kevin Belingon to look for openings against Bibiano Fernandes. Handout photo

ONE bantamweight king Kevin Belingon earned his crown by beating Brazilian rival Bibiano Fernandes via split decision.

Belingon now wants to show that his title win is no fluke.

"The Silencer" will be defending his crown against the dangerous Brazilian in ONE: New Era in Tokyo, Japan this March, and he wants to go for a stoppage.

"Kung may opportunity na ma-knockout siya, kukunin natin iyon... Para sa akin, hindi ako maghe-hesitate," said Belingon during Team Lakay's presser in Quezon City on Tuesday.

Belingon and Fernandes are already 1-1 in their last two meetings. 

The Brazilian forced Belingon to submission in their initial title encounter back in 2016, but the Filipino turned the tables on Fernandes last November by gutting out a decision.

"Alam kong gutom na gutom siya sa laban na ito, pero mas gutom ako kasi gusto kong iuwi ang belt ulit," said Belingon.

To prepare for the rematch, the Benguet-based fighter has been diligently training his ground game.

Belingon believes it will be his key to retaining the title against Fernandes.

"Ang focus namin talaga sa ground kasi 'yun ang armas ni Bibiano dito. So nagfo-focus ako sa Brazilian Jiujitsu at wrestling," he said.

Belingon added that he is excited to be fighting in the Japan card, which will be ONE's biggest in years.

The event will feature four title bouts, including Eduard Folayang's ONE lightweight title defense against Shinya Aoki.

"Very excited kasi historic event at first time kong pupunta sa Japan, so kailangang paghandaan talaga," he said.

"Ito ang first title defense ko kaya kailangang manalo."

Belingon has been winning fight after fight since his loss to Fernandes in 2016. 

"The Silencer" has had victories over Martin Nguyen, Reece McLaren, Toni Tauru, and Andrew Leone.

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